Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for Witnessing

Organizing the Inside – Day 362 Identify With Christ

14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)

God will open the door for you to witness. When was the last opportunity you had to witness to someone about the love of Jesus? You can be a bold witness for Christ and not be ashamed of your love for God. If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”  Mark 8:38 (NLT) Let’s get this whole witnessing matter worked out.

First make up your mind that you want to live right (righteously).  Let’s assume you’ve done that. Check! Now, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the power to be a witness and speak boldly about Christ. If you ask and believe, He will fill you full of power. (Read Acts 1:4, 5 and Acts 2:1-4) Next, let others know where you stand. Take advantage of the first opportunity you have to let people know where you stand. They will respect you for your honesty.

Let love be your banner. I’m not suggesting that every time you walk into a room you make an announcement declaring your religious beliefs. I am however suggesting that you ask God for the right opportunity to let others know you are a Christian and that you love God. Do both, because telling someone you are a Christian doesn’t mean much these days. It’s reported that up to 76% of Americans say they are Christians. If you hide your light how will they see Him? You are salt and light, therefore add flavor and don’t cover the light. If your life sets the tone, what’s wrong with that?

Being honest with people upfront will only strengthen you.
1.
You will know they are watching your walk and this (if you are sincere) will encourage you to live upright as you represent Christ. 2. It will encourage humility and honor.  For example: if you act out of character, an apology will seem much easier, and it will give others real interaction with an imperfect person who is living a sincere life for Christ. That is a powerful testimony!  3. When God gives you one-on-one time to share Christ, it will often be because the other person wants to know more about the hope that you have.

Here are a few things you could expect to happen:
1. They will rebel because of anger or conviction and persecute you.
2. They will avoid you all together, all the while watching your life.
3. They will simply watch how you live, and never ask any questions.
4. They will seek God through you by doing things like: asking for prayer or for your opinion about a serious problem they are facing.

Some are searching and don’t realize it. Just as many of us did before we gave our lives to Christ, people are looking for answers, and gathering information. I remember watching how people behaved in church and asking lots of questions. Perhaps you tried reading books about religion or watched religious programs on television. The point is this: when people don’t know Christ, but are seeking the truth they need your light. What God gives you to share may not be a lot of words about right and wrong.

Witnessing starts with the decision to forsake the world and live for Christ. Then you have to be committed to living that life openly before others. Finally, be ready to share the gospel, which frees those who are in bondage to sin. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Final thoughts about witnessing:
Some people are not meant for you to witness to. “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. Matthew 7:6 (NLT) Always practice discernment; share the Word as the Spirit leads. Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice. Proverbs 23:9 (NLT)

Never allow anyone lure you into an argumentative debate about Christian beliefs and foolish fables. Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. Titus 3:9 (NLT)

When you share the message of truth, if anyone doesn’t receive it… move on with peace and love in your heart. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. Matthew 10:13 (KJV)

Always point them to Jesus. My three favorite scriptures for witnessing are simple, yet so powerful. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (KJV)

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Be bold and let your light shine. And whether they listen or fail to listen–for they are a rebellious house–they will know that a prophet has been among them. Ezekiel 2:5 (NIV)

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Organizing the Inside – Day 359 Keep Your First Love

2I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. 4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Revelation 2:2-4 (KJV)

Keep your Christian life and relationship with God from becoming routine. Faithfully you give daily attention to prayer, praise and worship. In your sincere desire to be faithful has it all become so routine that the energy and passion you once felt is no longer there?  If you’ve tried to make the right choices and spend quality time with God, but feel the excitement and newness you once enjoyed has waned, don’t be ashamed. Why not shake things up a bit? There is nothing mundane or unexciting about the things of God. Instead of your usual quiet time at home, consider an early morning walk on the beach or a hike through the woods as part of your devotional time to change things up. What things did you once enjoy that you rarely do anymore?

Always be a witness!  Remember the anticipation and excitement you felt when you first gave your life to God? If you were like most, you told anyone who would listen about your new-found eternal life. When you share your passion and love for the things of God with others, seeing their reaction definitely keeps things interesting, but it also helps your love for God grow. Sharing your testimony helps strengthen you and others. The next time you walk into your local coffee shop, instead of starting a conversation about the weather, or last night’s game ask your fellow coffee drinker one thought-provoking question. “If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven?” As the Holy Spirit leads, be ready to share God’s life changing Word. Being a witness (in some ways) is like being a fan; there isn’t anything more exciting than living for God.  While sharing the good news is serious business, it is so much fun! When you are fanatic about the kingdom of God, the more you share the message of truth, the more interesting things tend to become. Continue being faithful in your relationship with God, but share the love.  There is a lost and dying world that needs to know the fulfillment of having a first love.

Organizing the Inside – 337 Power To Be Decisive

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.  1 Kings 18:21 (KJV)

Have you ever been silent when you should have spoken up for what was right?
Have you ever been more fearful of what people would think and remained silent about sin?  Ahab had over four hundred of Baal’s prophets.  Elijah was the only one standing for the Lord, yet He stood boldly knowing that God was with him.  Although it appeared that Elijah was outnumbered by unbelievers, he served the only true and living God, which made him a majority.

As servants of the Most High, we are never outnumbered.  God wants you and me to be willing to stand up against evil.  It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can have the courage to stand against evil.  Jesus told the early church to wait until the Comforter came. He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 (NIV)

God wants to fill you with the power to stand firm in your beliefs. If you find that you don’t have the boldness you really want, and at times you are not standing up for the truth, help will come.  If in your heart you really are for God, but sometimes you are reluctant to let others know, you’re not alone. Tarry; spend time in prayer specifically seeking the power of the Holy Spirit.  God will not withhold from you the strength and power to be a witness. Ask Him for the power to choose; the power to choose what is right in His eyes and forget about what the masses have to say. (also read Psalm 84:11, Luke 11:11-13 and Acts 2)

Organizing the Inside – Day 284 Beyond Regrets

36Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” 37“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” 38Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me. John 13:36-38 (NLT)

Peter’s denial of Christ was very public. At one time Peter thought he was ready to stand boldly and show his love and commitment to Jesus. Yet Jesus saw beyond Peter’s zeal and foretold him that he was indeed not ready to die for Him. In fact Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him. The guilt and shame that Peter felt must have been almost overwhelming when he finally realized what he had done. I’m sure this was a difficult and humbling experience for him.

Sometimes Christians are so full of zeal, but their enthusiasm is misdirected.
For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Romans 10:2 (NIV) I love street witnessing. So excited about the Lord; I was just beginning to understand the power that was at work within me. After going through weeks of prayer and training, we saw many folks saved and delivered as we witnessed on the streets week after week. All the excitement and readiness was leading up to one of our biggest nights, Halloween. We knew that in certain neighborhoods the people would be out and not only that, they would be happy to answer the door! This night was different in that two others were with me. Usually we went out in teams of two. Prayed up, in full armor and ready to go, we approached one home and an elderly woman answered the door. We began to share the good news, but the blank stare she gave was a clear indication she had no idea what we were saying.

Not knowing what to do next.
We stood at the door baffled that God had left us so ill-equipped.  The two who were with me looked at each other and shook their heads as to say, “I’ve got nothing” and I knew eventually they’d look at me. With only seconds to decide I stood there shaking in my sneakers. You see, there was an unfamiliar anointing upon me that flowed from my belly to my vocal cords and onto my tongue. I knew that the Lord had given me the words to speak to this woman in her native tongue. I wanted so desperately to tell her how Jesus died for her and about God’s love. Yet in that very moment I said nothing. I shook my head and hunched my shoulders to the others as to say, “beats me.” We stood there for a few more moments, waiting for God to provide and He did. I felt as though my tongue was about to fly right out of my mouth and the powerful force stirring within me made it difficult to maintain my composure. Yet, I did not open my mouth. The thoughts of what will they think, and why did God choose me, and what if I sound crazy, came all at once as I stood there on the porch that Halloween night and denied Christ.

Is He Lord and Savior?
As we walked away my witnessing partners were bewildered that God did not provide. Only I knew the truth. The river of power soon began to subside and was replaced by the absolute worst feeling of sadness and shame. As we made our way down the sidewalk to the next house God reminded me of His love for me, of His forgiveness. The hope that I was so anxiously wanting to share with all the trick-or-treaters or anyone else willing to listen, was now the exact hope I needed most. Unlike Peter’s public denial, my guilt was private and no one else knew. Peter grew to love Christ more and went on to do great things as one of the founding fathers of the early church.  For me, that night in my humbled state I discovered something new about being a Christian. Jesus didn’t want to be my Savior only; He wanted to be my Lord. Over those next weeks, as God restored my confidence I had a new appreciation for God’s forgiveness and my relationship with Him.

As your love for Christ grows, your zeal will be according to knowledge.
As your desire for Him deepens, as you spend more time in His presence, your heart will soon discover He is more than just your Savior; He must also be Lord. Whether we get off the throne, and allow Christ to take His place as Lord of our lives or not, Jesus is Lord! 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10, 11 (KJV)

Years later, I wondered what happened to the elderly woman who answered the door that night. The part I left out was that, during the time we were standing there wondering what to do next, she left the door and came back with her bible. It was in Spanish and she began to speak to us in Spanish with the brightest smile as she held her bible close. Somehow, we understood she knew the Lord. Of course none of us could understand a word she said and she didn’t understand us either. That night was one of those experiences you have with the Lord that changes you forever. Jesus foreknew and yet He still chose me anyway.

God knows we are going to fall short.
Even Peter denied him three times, but he went on to do so much for the Lord. God’s grace gives us the power and confidence to keep going. His grace is all we need to overcome our past mistakes. You can still move forward and do wonderful things for God, because Christ’s blood flows freely. His grace is quite capable of supplying you and me with the power we need to continue in Him. If Peter had denied the Lord five times instead of three, God’s grace would have been available just the same. It’s plenty enough to free, cover and empower you, me and the entire world. Therefore today, we are moving beyond regrets, beyond fear and beyond ourselves as we enter into that place where Christ is not only our Savior, but He is Lord.

Organizing the Inside – Day 230 God’s Gift Of Acceptance

5May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Romans 15:5-7 (NLT)

Love is accepting of others.
Your boss is a kind man, but you only wish he’d stop wearing those brightly colored ties that always seem to make him look more like a clown than a serious businessman. You’re certain you’ll call a special meeting to correct this behavior, if he wears that orange and purple floral tie one more time. You thought about informing your girlfriend about how much you despise the way she takes far too long to choose between the salmon or the grilled chicken with her salad. Take a moment to reconsider.

Changing others is not what we’re called to do. The Holy Spirit is the teacher and God is the changer. He alone is the one who has the authority to determine what change if any is needed. Even when your heart is well-intended by trying to improve your boss’s appearance or end your friend’s indecisiveness, speaking up could cause harm to the relationship. Is this problem going to hurt or put someone in imminent danger? I highly doubt a psychedelic tie or an extra wait before placing an order will place anyone’s life in danger.

Acceptance is a better option.
Accepting and caring for others instead of controlling them, shows the love of God. Embracing the uniqueness of those around us will help expose them to the things of God. If we are always trying to change people, they may never experience the joy of receiving the gift of acceptance. Within each of us as human beings is a longing to be accepted. As children we wanted to be among the first picked to play on teams. In adulthood many of us are still seeking acceptance as we daily check in on Facebook to count the likes.

God’s acceptance of us.
Although many who’ve walked with the Lord have come to know the warmth, and security of His unconditional love, there are those who are still searching. By allowing others to be who they are we aren’t making provisions for wrongdoing, we are simply accepting them as they are. God didn’t expect us to clean up and get saved, before He saved us and cleaned us up. He reached down and pulled us out of sin.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (KJV)

Ease up on your suggestions for improvement. I suspect this is a slight character flaw that improves as we grow in grace. While having the unique ability to see what is wrong can be a tremendous strength in business and problem solving, this same strength tends to create a weakness in relationships. God gave man dominion over the earth, not over each other. …and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 (KJV)

Trying to change others only adds stress and makes life complicated.  A great  way to simplify your life is to seek God’s help with whatever is happening on the inside that causes a tie or indecisive friend to be so irritating. Meanwhile, why not give the loving gift of acceptance, and avoid the temptation of trying to change others?